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UPDATED JUNE, 2022 / BY TRACKER OFF ROAD
That depends. Peruse the internet and social media, and you will discover that is definitely the case. After all, everyone wants to show off their stuff. That world can take you away from the task at hand, though—what you need to harvest a buck.
If you operate by the mantra, “you can never have enough gear,” then go for it. That is part of the enjoyment of hunting. There are hunting gadgets for every use, and new iterations come out each season.
Just remember what it all comes down to is what can fit inside your hunting backpack. Both hands are taken—those are for carrying your weapon of choice.
Grab your favorite pack—and if you need a new one, we have a suggestion below—and load it up with these 10 must-have items. We even left room for that other stuff you just can’t leave behind.
The unique back-panel design allows easy access to inside compartments while providing superior comfort and support for heavy loads with channeled padding. A hip belt—normally standard for larger packs—brings improved padding and snugness to enhance comfort. A built-in hydration-reservoir compartment (reservoir sold separately) and 600-denier polyester-oxford construction add versatility and durability. Includes integrated rain cover and blaze flag.
Why you need it: At 21" x 1" x 7" you get a pack that is not too bulky, easy to wear and comfortable, with a secure fit thanks to the padded hip belt. Even better, the pack is designed for two-season use. $149.99 at cabelas.com.
White/green LEDs illuminate the trail with up to 70 lumens of hands-free light. Weatherproof construction and an adjustable headband provide functionality and comfort. Runs up to 90 hours on Maxbright LED and 200 hours on 5mm green LEDs with 3 AA batteries.
Why you need it: Instead of a single lighting option, this headlamp sports white/green LEDs and a regulated Maxbright LED. You can choose between the options for the conditions and needs. $49.99 at cabelas.com.
The roof prisms are phase and silver coated to enhance resolution for true-to-life colors. Lenses are fully multicoated with advanced wide-band coating technology. Multiple anti- reflective lens coatings enhance light transmission for brighter image quality and enhanced visibility in hazy and evening lighting conditions. An extremely lightweight, rubber-armored, magnesium-alloy chassis withstands the toughest hunts. The Intensity HD Binoculars O-rings are sealed for fog-proof performance and an IPX7 waterproof rating that withstands submersion for 30 minutes.
Why you need it: In close-quarters treestand hunting, you get a perfect combination of 8-power magnification with a 42mm objective, which offers a wide field of view and excellent light-gathering thanks to the premium quality HD extra-lo dispersion glass. $179.97 on cabelas.com.
Features a maximum range of up to 1,600 yards on reflective targets and up to 650 yards on deer, with a 0.25-second response times. High-quality 25mm optical lens system features anti- reflective coatings to produce clear images with enhanced resolution and 6X magnification. Select from three reticle options (+ sign, segmented circle or cross hair) based on target type and personal preferences. Measure line of sight distance or true horizontal distance to compensate for shooting from elevated positions. Switch modes quickly using the intuitive menu viewed through the high-light- transmission LCD.
Why you need it: You get ultrafast and accurate readings for precision at long range. $249.99 at cabelas.com.
This ultra-strong hand saw handles all types of trees and wood with its 7'' impulse-hardened, high carbon steel blade. Made from a heavy gauge, .050'' thick steel, this blade does not bend and break like thinner saw blades. Ergonomically designed to fit the hand, the non-slip rubber over-molded grip on the saw's rugged cast aluminum handle helps keep a firm grasp on the saw while cutting.
Why you need it: Forget this and you might eliminate most of the trees you could otherwise select for a stand. With an overall length of 14", the saw folds to 8" to easily tuck into the pack. $39.99 at cabelas.com.
Millions of granules of evenly distributed carbides in the S30V premium powder steel mean no weak spots in the blade and high edge retention. The composite Dymondwood handle carries the warmth and feel of wood in an armor-like layup.
Why you need it: Great balance, grip, and feel for a knife with a 3 1/2-inch blade with a flat-ground drop point. There's a separate gut hook, and the ambidextrous Axis lock is among the strongest ever developed. $199.99 at cabelas.com.
A lightweight, no bulk, 1.9-lb. harness, this harness combines padded waist and shoulder straps with adjustable leg straps and quick release leg buckles. The flexible, anti-shock, bungee tether strap allows 360° mobility in the stand. The harness also features a durable and adjustable elastic chest strap, hidden suspension relief pocket and bungee binocular straps. It comes with lineman's belt and tree strap. Maximum weight capacity: 300 lbs.
Why you need it: Lightweight, comfortable and easy to use. Not all harnesses provided with climbing stands can claim those attributes. This harness is not an afterthought; it’s what the company does. Which is make a safety harness you can use with peace of mind. Hint: Go try it on at your nearest Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. $89.99 at cabelas.com.
You need to go light in early season and then heavy up for the rut and colder weather. These gloves deserve a look. Go try them on at a Cabela’s or Outdoor World for yourself.
These feature-loaded gloves bring GORE-TEX 100% waterproof/breathable protection for ultimate watertight integrity without getting in the way. 3M Thinsulate Insulation delivers an incredible warmth-to-weight ratio, while exclusive SCENTINEL Scent Control Technology reduces scent signature in the field. Elastic wrists provide easier on/off, while the soft, brushed interior delivers optimized warmth and comfort even in long wearing sessions. Touchscreen-friendly fingertips let you use your smart device while wearing these Cabela's hunting gloves. Authentic TrueTimber.
Why you need them: Everything you need in the palm of your hand—insulation, waterproofing, scent control and comfort. $79.99 at cabelas.com.
Made of lightweight 100% polypropylene with proven DriPore waterproof/breathable technology, with waterproof seam taping for increased seam strength and true waterproof protection. The 8" side zips make them easy to pull on and off, while an expanded 4" back rise offers additional protection during movement. Elastic ankle cuffs.
Why you need it: A trusted brand with pants that can fit inside the pack for early season hunting. $29.99-$34.99 for the pants; $44.99-$49.99 for the jacket at cabelas.com.
Grunt calls get all the marketing push, and rightfully so. Add these to your pack to cover the entire season.
Whitetail, blacktail and mule deer can all respond quickly and dramatically to the quivering doe Estrus Bleat produced by "The Can". An effective call during the pre-rut, rut and post-rut, and it works great for stopping bucks when they're cruising too fast for a shot. ''The Can'' Estrus Bleats Deer Call features True Grip for firm handling. Raised thumb hole locator insures a good seal and consistent sound. $11.99 at cabelas.com
Why you need it: Does use a bleat to communicate with other deer, and the tone changes slightly when they are in estrous. This estrous call is meant to signal a buck that she is ready to mate. When they make this noise, any buck that’s not already locked down with a doe will usually be pretty interested. Use it from pre- to peak rut. $11.99 at cabelas.com.
Sound like small bucks are sparring or reproduce a dominant buck fight. You can increase the volume of sound the bag makes by removing one or more of the Power Tines. The camo net bag is compact, flexible and 100% waterproof.
Why you need it: This fits inside the pack; a full set of antlers does not. $14.99 at cabelas.com.
Leave room for the other essentials of your choice and you are set.